Witches' Night (DVD)
Reviewed by Uncle Creepy
Starring Betsy Baker, Gil McKinney, Wesley Walker, Jeff Alba, Lauren Ryland
Directed by Paul Traynor
Distributed by Rivercoast Film Distribution
There are tons of movies out there about zombies, ghosts, and generally everything else that goes bump in the night, but witches? Our choices are few and far between. Don't get me wrong; there have been some classics; however, this particular sub-genre is under-served by comparison. Good thing for us director Paul Traynor decided to make a movie about some really malevolent women as a means to remind us that evil comes in all packages. Even packages that are disguised as really hot young chicks!
After being left at the altar by no doubt an evil woman in and of herself, Jim (McKinney) does what any guy in his situation would do after being jilted on the big day -- get drunk and go on vacation with his bro and the guys! Unfortunately our group has picked the wrong spot in the woods to hang around and party at. Just a few hundred feet away from where they're camped, they hear the laughing of women. Women who upon confrontation seem just a bit over-eager to seduce and please. Of course most men think with their little head so the promise of hot sex and three- or even four-ways proves too much to resist. The next day, however, no one is feeling like themselves, and even more disturbing -- they are beginning to rot. Talk about an S.T.D.! It's then up to Jim (the healthiest of the bunch because he chose to walk away instead of getting laid) to try and save his friends and his older brother from a truly horrid curse.
Witches' Night does everything it should do. Traynor's direction is solid, and the characters have depth. You honestly end up caring about them. Even better, the horror of the witches is handled in a very realistic manner without resorting to anything silly like riding on broomsticks, etc. That's right, kids, there are no happy Earth-loving Wiccans to be found here. These ladies are pissed off and packing the type of malintent to make Lucifer grin from horn to horn. I must admit the old-school hag look for our villains is a welcome change from the usual leather-clad sorceresses we've seen as of late. There's really not much negative for me to say here. Of course there are the usual pitfalls that most low-budget features fall into such as editing issues but nothing that takes away too much from what is otherwise a decent and spooky experience.
The DVD is also surprisingly stacked, although it should be noted that the special features are only available when you buy the Special Edition version from the official Witches' Night website. Things kick off with a lively commentary with producer Sean Bradley and director Paul Traynor in which the filmmakers discuss the shoot with great affection. From there we get three making-of featurettes that run about half an hour combined and detail the cast, the trials and tribulations of shooting the film, and of course reflections from The Evil Dead's Betsy Baker, who with this film returns to the woods for another round of mayhem. Tack on three deleted scenes that feature just a tad more witchery and the trailer, and voila -- we get a nice little package.
Witches' Night offers further proof that you don't need a huge budget and big name actors to turn out a good flick. Now if only its stars could put a spell on Hollywood. Maybe then they'd get their heads out of their asses and give bigger and better releases to the films that actually deserve them. Oh, who am I kidding? That will never happen.
Viva la indie!
3 1/2 out of 5
3 1/2 out of 5
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